Amid the standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government, reports are growing that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s little-known ties to a Chinese solar energy giant could have played a role. Reid, D-Nev., and his oldest son, Rory, a former chairman of the Clark County, Nev., County Commission, were both deeply involved in a plan by ENN Energy Group to build a huge solar farm in southern Nevada, according to a Reuters report from August 2012.
Land the Bundy family has been using for cattle ranching was getting in the way of that project, according to documents formerly posted on the Bureau of Land Management’s government website but since removed, according to Infowars.
It has also been reported that this particular deal is no longer on the table, but was part of the story in 2012.
The acting director of the Bureau of Land Management is Neil Kornze, a former senior policy advisor for Reid.
Here is a screenshot of one crucial document from Google’s cache.
The most interesting line might be:
“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle.” More here.
Those who say Bundy is a “deadbeat” are making inaccurate claims. Bundy has in fact paid fees to Clark County, Nevada in an arrangement pre-dating the BLM. The BLM arrived much later, changed the details of the setup without consulting with Bundy — or any other rancher — and then began systematically driving out cattle and ranchers. Bundy refused to pay BLM, especially after they demanded he reduce his heard’s head count down to a level that would not sustain his ranch. Bundy OWNS the water and forage rights to this land. He paid for these rights. He built fences, established water ways, and constructed roads with his own money, with the approval of Nevada and BLM. When BLM started using his fees to run him off the land and harassing him, he ceased paying. So should BLM reimburse him for managing the land and for the confiscation of his water and forage rights?Cliven Bundy’s problem isn’t that he didn’t pay — he did — or that his cattle bother tortoises — they don’t — it’s that he’s not a Reid donor.
**One last thought: For those conservatives saying that since BLM arrived in the late 90s, it’s the law now, well, so is Obamacare. More here.